‘Act Like Men’ – Are Driscoll/MacDonald & Gang Merchandising Manhood?

"Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.  Let all that you do be done in love."

1 Corinthians 16:13-14

http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=45688&picture=seatsSeats by Carlos Sardá

Summer's over and it's time to get back to the Calvinista routine.  Which routine you might ask?  Conferences, conferences, conferences…  Who has the money to attend all these events anyway? 

Well, here's the latest offering from Mark Driscoll, James MacDonald, Matt Chandler, Greg Laurie, and others.  It's called Act Like Men.  I don't know about you, but Driscoll and MacDonald are not what I consider to be terrific role models for how Christian men should act.  Just search our previous posts about them, and you'll see that there are definitely some problems. 

To get a taste of the © 2013 Act Like Men conference , take a look…

Yes, even though the phrase 'act like men' appears in Bible, it's now copyrighted by this crowd.  This brings back memories of the legal wrangling over the trademark for Mars Hill.  We covered that debacle in a post called The Branding of Mars Hill

So what's the real focus of this conference?  Perhaps the following question and answer under the FAQ section will shed some light…

Q:  What is the recommended age for the Act Like Men Conference? Can I bring my teenage son?

A:  The Act Like Men conference is appropriate for young men and men ages 13 & up. All content presented by the speakers will be candid and biblically based dealing with issues men face today. Note: may not be suitable for pre-teens or young teens but is geared toward a more mature audience.

The © 2013 Act Like Men conference will take place at three venues, specifically:

Hamilton, Ontario (October 4-5)

Long Beach, California (October 18-19)

Indianapolis, Indiana (November 8-9)

Here are the speakers explaining why this conference is so important.

In order to act like men, attendees will need to don the appropriate attire, so they might want to go ahead and order the Conference Gear.  Actually, only the t-shirt is being sold prior to the conference, and the link (which takes you to James MacDonald's website) is not working at the time of this writing.  You know what they say – the clothes make the man…  Also, to see the © 2013 Act Like Men sponsors (Walk in the Word, Resurgence, Acts 29, etc.), scroll down past the t-shirts, baseball caps and hoodies to the bottom of the virtual catalog. 

And if you want to advertise the conference, look how easy the promoters have made it for you (link).  No doubt churches and men's groups around the country will be pushing this event in the coming days.   We're curious…  Has your church or Christian group started promoting © 2013 Act Like Men yet?  Please keep us updated.  🙂

Oh, and remember, this event is FOR MEN ONLY!


Since Driscoll, MacDonald and gang have copyrighted the conference name – © 2013 Act Like Men – I wondered whether anyone else had used that phrase (besides Almighty God, of course!)

Perhaps these mature, manly men are clueless as to the fact that a documentary was released just last year with an interesting title:

Act Like Men:  A Titanic Lesson in Manliness

The DVD is from the award-winning producers of Indoctrination, which we reviewed (link). Here is some additional information on the Vision Forum website:

Act Like Men was produced for the 100th anniversary of the Titanic's sinking with the intention to inspire today's generation to pursue godly manhood. Featuring Scott Brown, William Einwechter, Bill Potter, and Kevin Swanson, this documentary tells the true story of the Titanic and compares the manly response of its passengers and crew with the weakening of modern morality, as evidenced by recent events such as the partial sinking of the Italian cruise ship Costa Concordia.

Watch this timely film with your entire family, and discover why it's time to once again act like men.

Act Like Men was a semi-finalist in the 2013 San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival.

Kevin Swanson (remember Dee's post on womb tomb babies?) gives us an overview of the documentary.

How coincidental that these two hyper-masculine groups – the Driscoll/MacDonald 'tribe' and the Vision Forum crowd  – have tried to capitalize on the 'Biblical' phrase ACT LIKE MEN.  I'll leave it up to you to decide whether Driscoll and gang came up with this conference slogan on their own…

In closing, I am so tired of Christians who want to teach young men how to be 'real men' for a price.  Vision Forum markets its DVD, etc., and the Driscoll/MacDonald 'tribe' charges over $100 per person to attend a two-day event — remember food, housing, transportation and conference gear are (in all likelihood) NOT included.  

Want to know the secret to stamping out the merchandising of masculinity?  It has to do with economics.  Decreased demand (of conferences and resources) results in a decreased supply.  And that's what we really need! 

We leave you with a video that would fit in well at the © 2013 Act Like Men conference.  

Lydia's Corner:     Esther 1:1-3:15   1 Corinthians 11:17-34    Psalm 35:17-28    Proverbs 21:19-20


‘Act Like Men’ – Are Driscoll/MacDonald & Gang Merchandising Manhood? — 415 Comments

  1. @ An Attorney:

    The thing is, there is no good reason why the church in any local area could not operate like that all the time. With much expansion on the idea of “fellowship” – groupings of people with similar callings and complementary gifts, building one another up in the pursuit of the Father’s will in their communities.

    Additionally, of course, these would be people seated with Christ in heaven, and able to pray with the authority of Christ’s co-heirs. So when they get together, unrealistic things really happen, along with the hopelessly impractical and the politically impossible. If that was the substance of Matt Chandler’s message reminding us about our position in Christ cited by Nate above, then there may be cause for optimism.

  2. MWorrell wrote:

    about 500 guys got saved

    So they say. Between those feel only a momentary enthusiasm and those who join in because of a herd mentality, I consider such claims to be suspect. Anyone ever done any follow-up on any of these mass conversions? In how many of claiming to be converted that day did it actually make a permanent change to a Christian way of life? My guess is very few. It seems to me it’s a lot like the claims that a large number of people have been healed by someone who claims to be a faith healer.

  3. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    The fruit of the spirit is not twitter followers nor even congregational followers; it’s described by Paul in terms of a person’s character attributes. Orthodox doctrine is merely a part of a means to an end, and the man who uses credal orthodoxy as a cover for his unregenerate character has certainly betrayed it. As long as we judge leaders by their doctrine (which is the easiest thing in the world to manufacture), and not by the fruit evidenced in their characters, we’ll never lack deception.

    Nick, I love this! It turns the whole idea of leadership upside down, which is exactly the habit of Jesus. How does a degree from seminary measure strength of character? I can tell you firsthand, as a graduate of a Bible college, that I learned just as much about deviance as I did about divinity! It breeds a sense of entitlement, and like you said Nick, of an ambition to lead. In churches today, I witness less of a humble “Who am I to speak for You LORD?” and more and more of a “Do you not know who I am to speak for the LORD?”

  4. @ MWorrell:

    It’s weird that some Christians get so hung up on gender role stuff.

    The Bible says there is neither male nor female in Christ Jesus.

    If the Bible does not place a premium on gender roles, and I don’t see that it does (‘there is neither male nor female…’), or trying to minutely define “biblical man hood” (or womanhood) seems like overkill and a waste of time for Christians to put on so many conferences about what it means to be a man (or woman) and keep pumping out so many books about it.

    I don’t believe worrying about, or trying to fight, feminism, transgenderism, and homosexuality (as some Christians do) excuses the obsessive preoccupation with “biblical manhood and womanhood,” or makes a staunch defense of it necessary.

    It looks like being a Christian is wrapped up in following Jesus, and

    Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

    I see no mention in there of holding “how to act like a man” conference.

    I think it likely comes down to money. The people pushing all the “biblical manhood/womanhood” books and conferences must be making a nice, tidy sum off all the materials and meetings.

  5. @ Mara:

    Didn’t Driscoll admit in a video online or a blog page that he doesn’t know the bible’s original languages and acts rather proud of this? I think Chris Rosebrough brought it up on his show, and Deb and Dee may have blogged about it too.

    Driscoll has also bragged about writing a two hour sermon in five minutes or something.

    Mark Driscoll doesn’t want you to study the Bible

    That page quotes MD as saying,

    “What does that mean in the Greek, Pas­tor Mark?” You can always tell a rebel­lious evan­gel­i­cal. They do word stud­ies. They try to go to the Greek and fig­ure out if it per­haps means some­thing else. I’ll just read, OK.

    Guy does not mind letting people know he is not an intellectual and does not do much studying, probably because (just a guess) he looks more like a “cool bro” to the 20 year old guys if he paints a picture of himself as sitting around watching football and drinking beer, not with his nose in a ancient Hebrew language lexicon.

  6. dee wrote:

    Hmm- [according to Mark Driscoll] Queen Esther is a slut?

    Driscoll also teaches that Song of Solomon and other biblical passages teaches that Jesus wants women to perform oral sex on their husbands.

    Of course in MD’s world it does. 🙄

    A very feminist female preacher may likely find evidence that the Bible / Song of Solomon teaches that husbands are to wash the dishes every night and take out the trash without being asked or nagged.

    It’s amazing what one can think or insist the Bible supports and says if you read it with a personal preferences filter.

    Not that I think the Bible is vague on every topic under the sun, I believe it is indeed totally clear on some issues, but on others, like wives owing their men oral sex? LOL!!!! I don’t think so. Keep dreaming, Driscoll.

    Mark Driscoll’s Oral Fixation

  7. JeffT wrote:

    Anyone ever done any follow-up on any of these mass conversions?

    Billy Graham Ministries, to their credit, made some effort to collect precisely that information. Even they reckoned on a 90% drop off rate a year after a BG rally. Caveat: I think they based that information on regular church attendance, which isn’t the only measure, or even necessarily a good one.

  8. Daisy wrote:

    The Bible says there is neither male nor female in Christ Jesus.

    So in spiritual terms – that is, access to the Gospel and our oneness in Christ, that is most certainly true. But I am curious how someone who asserts that there are no biblical gender roles reconciles that concept with God’s obvious decision to make women biological mothers and men biological fathers. Setting aside any rigid concepts of “biblical” manhood/womanhood that are obviously indefensible, it would seem plain that God has instituted a purposeful distinctiveness.

    In terms of the concept of acting like a man, “act like a man” is a completely legitimate translation of the biblical language, which appears also in surrounding verses to define in rather precise terms what acting like a man looks like.

    In the end, there are women who want men to conform to modern gender stereotypes, and women who do not. As long as there are both kinds of women looking to date and get married, your opinion is just an opinion. Why not seek out a like-minded man and let other people run their own lives (and conferences)? I don’t run around telling stay-at-home dads that they need to change. Part of maturity is accepting that many people have different opinions from you, even about things you regard as very important.

  9. MWorrell wrote:

    So in spiritual terms

    That would be your particular interpretation of that text. I don’t share it. It is non-sensical to tell someone they are equal spiritually but not in other ways.

    You said, “But I am curious how someone who asserts that there are no biblical gender roles reconciles that concept with God’s obvious decision to make women biological mothers and men biological fathers. Setting aside any rigid concepts of “biblical” manhood/womanhood that are obviously indefensible, it would seem plain that God has instituted a purposeful distinctiveness.”

    The Bible doesn’t teach “gender roles.”

    I don’t see what biological differences have to do with anything, or how bio differences can be used to limit women’s talents and gifts.

    A woman may have a God given gifting or talent at teaching, even if she is capable of having being pregnant

    YOu said,
    “In the end, there are women who want men to conform to modern gender stereotypes, and women who do not.”

    Women who do not wish to conform to gender compism, how they define womanhood, are often rather insulted over it. It is implied that they are not quite Christian, or are rebelling against God and the Bible, etc.

    The irony is, I am not opposed to the notion of a woman being a wife and mommy if that is what she chooses for herself, and I have been treated rudely for saying so by secular feminists on other sites.

    My issue is that segments of Christianity (e.g., gender complementarians) teach it is “biblical truth” that a woman’s only, or highest, calling is to be a wife and mommy, and that women may not use any of their gifts (such as teaching or leading).

    Many of these gender comp teachings, as I was just saying on another post, are about totally irrelevant to never married and childless adult women such as myself, because the only “gender roles” they define only discuss men and women in regards to marriage and parenting.

    Gender compism does not know what to do with never married men and women who are age 40 or older.

    Gender complementarians do not truly seek to define manhood and womanhood in generalized terms, but rather, -justify and rationalize why men get to hold all the power over women in churches, and
    – why a wife must always submit to a spouse.

    Point 2 is particularly irrelevant to never married females.

    As I said on another post, I’ve always chatted with never married, childless, adult Christian men on other sites who find nothing of value in gender compism either, because they do not define themselves by having a wife or children.

    I don’t think I was telling you to change, merely expressing a differing opinion. Your post was condescending as all get out.

    You said,
    “it would seem plain that God has instituted a purposeful distinctiveness.”

    Bio differences do not necessitate keeping women out of ministry and so forth. It does not follow.

  10. MWorrell wrote:

    In the end, there are women who want men to conform to modern gender stereotypes, and women who do not.

    I’m glad you got something out of the conference, and as I said, I don’t begrudge conferences. But you must realise that you’re entering this discussion from the same direction as some high-profile preachers who certainly want both men and women to conform to gender stereotypes, purportedly “biblical” but defined by themselves (and sometimes to a level of detail that is beyond parody). And who in some cases desperately lack the maturity to believe that many experienced and knowledgeable people have opinions different from them.

    You also said:

    But I am curious how someone who asserts that there are no biblical gender roles reconciles that concept with God’s obvious decision to make women biological mothers and men biological fathers. Setting aside any rigid concepts of “biblical” manhood/womanhood that are obviously indefensible, it would seem plain that God has instituted a purposeful distinctiveness.

    In the spirit of acknowledging other opinions, I will take this as a genuine question and answer it as best I can. Certainly God created them male and female; it was not good for the man to be alone. Whether it is the distinctiveness, or the interdependence, that was purposeful is quite important. I believe the latter, since in Christ there is neither male nor female and in Matthew 22 Jesus strongly hints (“At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven”) that the distinction is temporary. Another reason why it’s risky to extrapolate detailed spiritual boundaries from physical differences.

    For another thing, it’s a question of gifting and capacity. A woman who has no leadership gift, or wants to treat everybody as a baby who needs nurturing (those women do exist – and there are men like that too) should certainly be excluded from most leadership roles. A man whose caring nature causes his heart to ache and yearn to gestate and suckle a child… should grow up and get over it, and find something God has equipped him to do. But a woman of sharp intellect, broad mind and Christ-like character who has a demonstrable gift at unpacking truth so that it becomes manifest in people’s lives should not be prevented from doing so on biological grounds.

  11. MWorrell wrote:
    …God’s obvious decision to make women biological mothers and men biological fathers…

    I think that it is because we are of the Class Mammalia and Meiosis (cell division into haploid gametes i.e. containing half the genetic material of the parent cell) is how life on earth works to give genetically unique individuals instead of cloning (vegetative reproduction) like amoebas and ‘hen and chicken’ plants.

    But, being a human being is more than whether or not one is male or female. As Christians, we believe Jesus is our example of what it truly means to be human. I am finding that as I tackle being mother to my children, I gain insight into how God loves me as my Heavenly Father.

    Apart from obvious physical differences, I don’t think God expects us to be limited by gender. He has a disconcerting habit of going against societal norms to carry out His plans: youngest sons, barren women, a carpenter from Nazareth who, by the way, found greater faith in a foreign woman and a Roman centurion than amongst his own people.

  12. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    A man whose caring nature causes his heart to ache and yearn to gestate and suckle a child… should grow up and get over it, and find something God has equipped him to do.

    Nick – ???! I remember the actor Dustin Hoffman talking about the overwhelming need/desire he felt to be able to nurse his infant granddaughter – that’s how loving and protective he felt. She triggered a *lot* of oxytocin – and, obviously, love – in him.

    I don’t think that wanting to nurture an infant or child in this way is weird or wrong, and neither, I suspect, do you – but it *is* something that is not acceptable (for the most part) for men to admit to or talk about. I’m glad Hoffman did.

    As for actually nursing a baby, there are men who are able to produce mil. No kidding.

    My guess is that this is all a human thing, not confined to one gender. But it’s “acceptable” for women to do it, not so “acceptable” for men.

  13. @ numo: Though I *do* agree that if a guy has a particularly nurturing bent/temperament, there are things he can do (besides/instead of being a father) that allow him to express that side of himself and to help others – kids, adults, animals – in the process.

    I really admire the men who are dedicated to caring for rescued/abused animals, for example. And there are lots of them, though women tend to outnumber them. Still, they’re there.

  14.   __

    “And there was a cloud that shadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him.” ~ Mark 9:7; Mark 9:6-8 (in Context)



        The issue here is not one of free speech, the right to assemble, religious freedom, nor free enterprise, for that matter, but one of pastoral accountability.


        Yes. Certain pastors on today’s religious scene have become autonomous in their sphere of influence.  

    So What?

        In certain cases these 501(c)3 religious professionals have conveniently removed all other ‘voices’ but their own, thus setting themselves up to disregard any Nathan the Almighty would seek to place in their ministries. 


        ‘History’ discovers this to be a slippery blind venture into madness, and tyranny. 


       One does not have to follow this type of religious tyranny into the jungles of Guyana to contemplate any possible outcome. 


        The framers of the American Constitution and the Bill Of Rights, wisely through a thorough examination of what makes for good government while presenting the least amount of interference, and burden in and upon the lives of its fair citizens, framed documents that have stood the test of time for that ‘balanced’ purpose since their ratification. 


        The foundational principles found in the bowels of these documents find their bedrock in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. 


        The principles of the scriptures have held true for the western world…specifically after the Reformation in 1517. 

        The question one should ask is wether these principles, that have stood the test of time for so many years, are worthy of preservation in our churches, and in our nation.

        This is seen as the greatest challenge the Americas and Western Europe faces today.

    I pray a favorable outcome.

    I N R I *

    Iesous Nazoraios Basileus Ioudaios


    They that has ears to hear, let them hear?


    “Let him that hath an ear hear what the Spirit saith unto the Churches: To him that overcometh, will I give to eat of the tree of life which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.” ~ Jesus


    Matthew 27:37 houtos esti Iesous basileus Ioudaios
    Mark 15:26 basileus Ioudaios
    John 19:19 Iesous Nazoraios basileus Ioudaios; * Iesvs Nazarenvs Rex Ivdaeorvm
    Luke 23:38 houtos esti basileus Ioudaios